Spontaneous Human Combustion

About the production

Exploding onto the stage in May, Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s Senior Drama Production, Spontaneous Human Combustion, played to sell-out audiences and has attracted rave reviews from prominent industry representatives and the wider School community.

The School commissioned award-winning playwright, Daniel Evans, to write a new and challenging play for young female actors that employs the conventions of the theatrical style Magical Realism. Supported by the expert leadership of Head of Drama, Mrs Katrina Riveros, and Head of Co-curricular Drama, Mr Brad Jennings, Daniel directed an ensemble of twenty Senior Drama students, staging a stunning season of three performances from 18 to 20 May.

A second phase of the project will see the publication of the text as well the creation of a digital educational resource sympathetic to new curriculum frameworks outlined in the incoming 2018 Drama syllabus.

The story

School Captain Astrid Pollard is on fire. Ever since she was assigned that oral presentation on Joan of Arc life has sort of, well, spontaneously combusted. People are looking at her funny. The frogs in Biology are singing to her.

Help comes in the form of school pariah Hadley who convinces Astrid that this might be some kind of divine calling or a mission – just like Joan’s. But something darker is swirling beneath the mysterious vigil, beneath the oral presentation, beneath the playground… and it explains the radical cracks in Astrid’s strangely magical universe.


  • Cara Avenia – Hadley Berger
  • Sophie Bath – Soldier/Student
  • Isabella Berlese – Student
  • Rosie Dann – Joan of Arc
  • Tiffany Davison – Ms Beaufort/Student
  • Maddison Facey – Student
  • Kate Hanlin – Mr Manchello/Student
  • Isabella Hindman – Student
  • Isabel Horsley – Student/India Ping
  • Laura Kimble – Miss Dunkirk
  • Clare Lindsay – Student
  • Ailish Luke Martin – Student
  • Harper McIlroy – Astrid Pollard
  • Jane O’Driscoll – Posie
  • Georgia Perry – Cecilia
  • Sarah Pym – Sienna Sasquatch
  • Zoe Skoien – Student
  • Nanda Soe – Student
  • Nikita Uscinski – Deidre Pollard
  • Emilia Weeden – Marilyn

Creative Team

  • Playwright and Director – Daniel Evans
  • Producers – Mrs Katrina Riveros and Mr Brad Jennings
  • Dramaturg – Saffron Benner
  • Technical Manager – Mr Brad Jennings
  • Lighting Design – Jason Glenwright
  • Sound Design – Dane Alexander
  • Set Design – Mrs Katrina Riveros and Mr Brad Jennings
  • Costume Design and Construction – Mrs Katrina Riveros
  • Set Construction – Mr Robbie Vogler
  • Choreography – Mrs Katrina Riveros
  • Technical Operation – Freya Martin
  • Translation and Language Consultant – Noa Rotem
  • Marketing – Dr Belinda Burns, Ms Sara Merry, Ms Xenia Aitken-Smith

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